Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18: Pope does not make cut in Irving press...

Yessiree - The Irving press accepts only the most important news. And the Pope's encyclical on climate change just doesn't cut it. In fact, there are many stories on that theme that have appeared in papers like The Guardian,The New York Times, and smaller papers all over the world. But not the Irving press which has to kiss up to the oil industry.

There will be those,  of course, who say that church and state should be separate. So they should be. But -

a)they aren't and never have been. When Harper speaks of Canadian values (a very vague topic, indeed), he often means religious values. The attacks on Syria, for example, and the defence of Israel are essential put to us on religious grounds. So is Harper's anti-terrorism law which we all know is aimed at Muslims. There are lots of Christian terrorists in this world. But Harper never mentions them - and we never even think of them as terrorists.

b)Separation of church and state are words often used by people who don't know what they mean.
In its origins, the term meant that the church should not have have official, political power in the state. I would agree with that just as I would agree that plumbers should not have official, political power in the state.

However, as free and equal people, we must all have the right to opinion and the right to express it publicly. And, of course, that opinion will often be expressed on the basis of religious belief, just as it is often expressed on the basis of  business interest or gender interest.

Canadian medicare arose largely froma  religious belief that people who needed care should get it, regardless of their ability to pay. It's not an accident that Tommy Douglas was a clergyman.

Churches should be active in discussing national and world affairs with their congregations in the context of their faith. What's wrong with them is that most of them don't. That's why the Faith page is usually such an irrelevant stinker.

If the pope were to issue an order to all governments to stop using oil and oil products, that would be interfering with the state. But he didn't order anything. He simply offered an opinion based on his understanding of the requirements of his faith. I could wish some Protestants would do as much.

Worse, it's government and big business, commonly, that interfere with the churches by encouraging them to make hatred and war and murder quite respectable. I shall always remember Cardinal Spellman of Boston blessing the bombs that were to be dropped on Cuba, and the Canadian, Protestant chaplain in Afghanistan who told our soldiers they were doing God's work.

On A1, ":Official believes FIFA  tournament will  have lasting last effect on Moncton." Well, okay. But what makes any sports official's estimate of  lasting economic effect worth a poop? And, anyway,
That's not what the story is about; and the official says no such thing. He hardly mentioned the Moncton  games; he spoke largely about the whole tournament.  That headline is either a lie or a stunning display of editorial incompetence.

A more accurate headline (for the real story of the day) might be "Pope says climate change will have lasting effect on Moncton."  That's closer to the truth than that vapid story about the FIFA games.

But the way, FIFA is now in the midst of a serious corruption scandal involving senior officials demanding huge bribes to award games. Of course, we know that no government at any level in New Brunswick would dream of paying a bribe. But shouldn't a newspaper at least ask? Or is it assumed that no corrupt officials would ever dream of asking for a bribe from Moncton?

Big ad on A3 for the summer opening of the Irving Chapel, as close as one can come to God. And there will be SPECIAL music (Rock? Hip-Hop? Comb and tissue paper?)

A8 has a big story on how a high school graduation class was told to strive for success. It's important to know that. Most graduation speakers advise them to strive for failure.

The editor talks about tourism, saying very little. But it appears to be, with waste collection, his only field of interest.
Norbert has a column that I've no doubt is important so that anyone with advanced training is physics and 'string' theory and supersymmetry (meaning, it seems, that for every known particle there is a mirror particle - maybe. I hope that's clear now.)

Few  are going to read this. Of those, very, very few are going to understand it. Hint - a column that few will read and fewer understand is not useful. You have to write for your audience.

Commentary opens with a big photo of a seal lying on the bank of Petitcodiac - a picture taken over a year ago. I have no idea why it's there.

Below it is a 'commentary' by Rod Allen. I have no idea why it's there, either.

At the bottom of the page is a real commentary by Jim Emberger "Evidence supports a shale gas moratorium."  It is well written, and full of information the Irving press has never given us. At the end is a statement "please see a correction and apology on page A2". Make sure you do that.

It seems 1.The TandT did not publish this commentary when it first was received. 2. It did, however, publish a letter to the editor attacking this commentary the paper had NOT published, and which said Mr. Emberger is a paid officer of the Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, and a liar. 3. The letters editor should have checked those charges before publishing. But didn't.

Well, considering only three or four letters a day get published, it's astonishing the editor didn't notice that the letter was libelous, and that it was commenting on an article that had not appeared. (In short, this one has a big smell.)

It also looks as though the Irving press was covering up on shale gas, and finally published the commentary only to avoid possible legal action.

Alec Bruce's column on Magna Carta could not be called a topical one. But it's pretty good history. I would just add that Magna Carta is probably more cherished by Americans than by the British since it became the justification for the American revolution. And because the British are a little more honest about their history.
Canada&World, as usual, has very, very little world; and nothing significant about Canada. So note the below.

Haaretz has yesterday's story that the former Israeli envoy to Washington has publicly accused Obama of abandoning Israel. This is the Obama who has given given billions of dollars to Israel, and with no recent slacking. And the US is the only country in the world that can be counted on to defend Israel if it gets into trouble.Obama has also, for his whole term, protected Israel from criticism at the UN.

When Obama called Netanyahu to ask him to disavow his former envoy's claim, Netanyahu refused.

Well, Harper, you're the one who said Israel is never wrong. So when do you give hell to Obama like you did to Putin? I mean, unlike Obama, you have never in your life done anything for Israel. Here's your big chance.

Former US Attorney Ramsey Clerk certainly falls into the category of what the Irving press would called noteworthy, eminent, esteemed, etc. people. Indeed, he would fit that description more than any academic economist even here in bustling Moncton. Funny the Irving press missed yesterday's big story about Clarke.

Clark and a large number of lawyers and legal associations have come together to accuse George Bush of having illegally invaded Iraq and murdering well over a million people. That's what we hanged Naziis for in 1945-6.

The case is a strong and even obvious one. But the forces against it will be tremendous. The reality is that both Bush and Obama have waged illegal wars as defined at the Nuremberg trials. The wide use of drones to murder people in countries the US is not at war with, the use of killer squads (special ops) all over the world, including South America, the support of 'rebels'in Syria - all of these and more are illegal. And Tony Blair should most certainly be facing the same treatment.

But it's a sure bet that it will be opposed by both Houses of Congress, the president, and ignored as much as possible by the news media. And ignored entirely by the newshounds of the Irving press.   So take a look at the site below....

Oh, and Donald Trump has just unveiled a major issue for his run for president. Of all the problems facing the US, the big one is that Latin Americans must be stopped from coming to the US. They rape American women.  So Donald is going to built a huge wall along the border between Mexico and the southwestern US.  Something like the Berlin Wall, I guess.

It should be interesting. The wall would have to run in the middle of Rio Grande for most of its length, which means it would have to built at depths of 50 feet and more. But not to worry, he says he'll force Mexico to pay the cost.

Brilliant.  In one speech, he's wrapped up the moron and bigot votes.

It's a very crazy world out there. In the desperate attempt of our billionaires to control all the world's oil and all the world's markets, we have murdered and/or starved millions, created the biggest refugee problem in history, effectively destroyed democracy in much of the world - including Canada, the US, and Latin America. We get most of our information from lying (and trivial) news media. We are flirting with nuclear war to satisfy the wants of the wealthy. We have no plans, none whatever, for dealing with climate change.

And, especially here in New Brunswick, people walk around with their noses in their bellybuttons, terrified that someone might get the impression that they are thinking or have opinions - and report them.

It's very, very late in the day. And New Brunswickers don't have anything close to an understanding of what the problems are in this province, how serious they are, and how they are being cheated out of their own money - and always have been. We are in deep trouble in this province, and very, very deep trouble in this world. Yes, what happens in the rest of this world has an effect in New Brunswick. We should have learned that in 1914, 1939, in the Afghanistan war, and even today as we bomb Iraq and Syria.

Have a good time on Sunday at the Irving Chapel - with special music and coffee with friends in the barn.

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